A VITAL Penzance service is celebrating ten years of helping people in need to furnish their homes.
The Hope Project gives new household appliances to hard-up local people in a bid to help keep their heads above water as they struggle with low incomes, benefits cuts and job losses.
Cookers, washing machines, carpets and fridges are some of the items that have been handed out to around a thousand people by the project, which runs out of the Shekinah Christian Church in Penzance, over the past decade.
Clare Parr, who launched the project, said: "I was uncomfortable seeing people without jobs or on benefits struggling to live without curtains or washing machines, general household items that many of us take for granted.
"It is such a simple thing. Everyone can stop for the person in front of them and do something to change their life."
One of those helped by the team is Ayshe Augustine. The Madron woman was given carpets by the project last year after being left unable to work due to health reasons. Without the money to heat her home or buy carpets, she said: "I felt depressed but being helped by the Hope Project has given me faith in human kindness again and I live in a warm, normal house."
The project survives thanks to the generosity of the local Shekinah Christian Church and its members but donations from the public are always welcome.
"There has been an escalation in the need over recent years," said Mrs Parr.
"In the current financial climate the need is much greater than ever. We do need more finances so we don't have to turn people away." People can be referred to the scheme by Cornwall Council, social services and other local groups or they can drop in themselves.
"We visit everyone before we help them to get a sense and feel of their need," said the 45-year-old.
"It takes a lot of courage for some people to contact us."
To mark a decade of work, the project revealed new branding during a special presentation at the Shekinah Christian Church.
To support the project, or if you are in need of help, call Mrs Parr on 01736 331891 or the Shekinah office on 01736 369616.